When we talk about back pain, the phrase ‘aah se aha tak’ comes to the mind. While over the counter medications might provide relief for a while, back pain can turn chronic pretty quickly. A great solution for backache is doing yoga asanas. The use of yoga for back pain is nothing new and has proven effective for several years.
5 Common Causes Of Back Pain
Constant wear and tear and overexertion of any body part eventually lead to its dysfunction. Since the spine is seldom in a resting position it can undergo physical stress easily. Some of the common triggers that will lead to back pain are:
1. Strenuous Physical Activity
Overuse of back muscles occurs with repeated bending forwards or backwards. This may happen upon repeatedly performing strenuous activities like lifting heavy weights, shifting furniture or other heavy objects, performing hard labour. This causes the spinal nerves and muscles associated with the back to undergo severe strain leading to back pain.
2. Physical Trauma
Vehicular accidents, the direct impact of a hard object, breaking a fall are common ways of injuring your back. This could damage the back muscles, nerves supplying these muscles or the vertebral bones and eventually cause back pain.
3. Mental Stress
Difficult as it may seem to believe, mental stress is one of the leading causes of back pain. Stress associated with domestic life, career, family is experienced by almost everyone. However, when this stress exceeds your personal tolerance levels, it starts acting by exhibiting physical symptoms.
4. Nutritional Deficiency
Bones, muscles, nerves and other parts of the musculoskeletal system depend on balanced nutrition to perform their functions properly. Deficiency of elements like proteins, calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus are commonly associated with complaints such as back pain.
5. Abnormal Sitting Or Sleeping Posture
Erroneous posture while sitting or sleeping can trigger backache from a young age. The back muscles and spine bear the majority of body weight and hence are under constant strain. The additional burden due to the wrong posture will lead to musculoskeletal disorders like chronic back pain.
These causes are merely external factors which trigger back pain. Internal changes like swelling of back muscles, a disorder of spinal nerves, disorders of spinal bone are the root causes which eventually lead to a sensation of discomfort.
Remember that spinal discomfort is not synonymous with back pain. There are several other symptoms like neck pain, muscular stiffness, pain in the limbs which are an indication of a dysfunctional spine.
6 Yoga Poses For Back Pain That Can Give You An Instant Relief
Yoga is one of the most ancient forms of physical fitness that was discovered in India centuries ago. Not only is it a great way to remain fit, but it also helps in keeping various health problems at bay. Yoga is a holistic form of workout which acts on every part of the body.
Pain that can be traced back to nerves or muscles responds well to regular yoga therapy. There are yoga poses which will act on each part of the back and help obtain relief from pain. Many people opt to perform yoga for lower back pain relief, upper back problems and even neck pain.
Some of the most effective yoga poses for back pain described in detail in the next section of this blog. It is important to know about these poses before beginning to practise them.
1. Cat Pose (Marjariasana)
Have you seen a cat just relaxing and stretching its back and body? The very same technique is used while performing Marjariasana. This pose improves the strength of back muscles and helps in preventing disorders occurring due to incorrect posture of the spine.
- Begin this yoga pose by coming down on all fours akin to a cat.
- Place the flat of the palm and the knees on the ground to balance the body weight. Elbows must not be bent.
- While looking straight ahead, inhale deeply while arching your back.
- A concave hunch should form so that the tailbone is extended upward and the abdominal region is pulled downward.
- Continue deep breathing while holding this position.
2. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
The dog pose is named so because the final posture while performing this asana resembles a dog trying to stretch its body. This is one of the best poses of yoga for lower back pain.
- Come down on all fours so that the weight of the body is balanced on both the palms and both the knees.
- While taking a deep breath, elevate your hips such that the elbows and knees are completely straight.
- The feet and palms should be in contact with the floor and buttocks must be pointing upward.
- Try to look toward your feet while maintaining this posture.
- Come down on all fours again while exhaling and relax before repeating the asana again.
3. Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
The asana is rightly named Utthita Trikonasana due to the shape which your body will assume while performing it. Apart from relaxing the back muscles, this yoga pose is also excellent for toning of thigh muscles.
- Stand with your ankles two feet apart and your arms extended sideways, kept parallel to the floor.
- Rotate your left foot outward to an angle of 45 degrees. Rotate the right foot such that its toes are facing the left heel.
- While inhaling deeply shift your hip to the left and begin lowering your left arm towards your left leg.
- Exhale while you try to touch your left ankle with your left hand.
- Extend your right hand towards the ceiling with fingers pointed upward.
4. Plow Pose (Halasana)
Halasana enables a person to get into a pose which resembles a plough (plow) used in farms; hence the name. This asana should not be performed by people suffering from vertigo or neck disorders.
- Lie down on your back with legs stretched out in the front and the arms kept straight close to the body.
- Elevate your legs to an angle of 90 degrees without bending the knees with toes pointing towards the ceiling.
- Pressing the palms on the floor take the legs backwards toward your head and try to touch the toes on the ground.
- Interlock your fingers to keep the arms straight.
- While returning to the previous position, the legs must be lowered gradually.
5. Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
The fish pose can be performed easily without worrying about injuring any back muscles. The entire spine is stretched adequately while performing this asana.
- Lie on your back with legs kept straight in the front and arms resting on the side.
- Place both hands under your hips with your palms facing the floor.
- Take a deep breath while elevating the chest upward. The elbows should be bent and touching the floor along with the forearms. The shoulder and arms should not be touching the floor.
- Bend the head backwards in an attempt to touch it to the floor.
- Hold this position for sometime before resting the back.
6. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
Bridge the gap between you and a healthy lifestyle by performing the bridge pose regularly. Bridge pose is one of the best yoga poses for lower back pain.
- Lie down on your back with your arms relaxed straight in the front.
- Bend both knees in a manner that there is a distance about one foot between both the heels.
- Gradually elevate your buttocks and back while balancing the bodyweight on your shoulder, arms, palms and feet. Pull the abdomen upward till you feel a stretch toward.
- Do not attempt to elevate the neck.
- Continue breathing throughout the asana.
These asanas prove the efficacy of yoga for back pain. These yoga poses provide a good whole body workout as well as adequate stretch to the back muscles. Yoga back stretches help in enhancing the tone of back muscles which reduces the burden over the spine.
While you perform these asanas remember to take it easy. Do not rush into learning the ropes too fast, as it is likely to increase your back pain. Always learn yoga from a certified trainer before practising it by yourself. If you feel any asana increases your back pain or causes some other trouble, stop performing it immediately.
Key Tips & Takeaways
- Go easy on your physical activity. Do not perform any exercise or do any laborious tasks which are likely to overstrain your back muscles.
- Consume all the essential nutrients which help to have a healthier physique.
- Perform regular physical workout for toned and strong muscles.
- Watch your posture while standing, sitting and even sleeping. A wrong posture is your back’s worst enemy.
Striking a balance between adequate physical exercise and sufficient physical rest is the key to good health. Find this key through regular practise of Yoga and unlock the door to a happy and healthy life.